Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

A set of discussion forums covering almost every conceivable cycling related topic.

Cycling Adventurer
The Cycling Adventurer has tossed in the structured life of an urbanite to explore the world by bicycle. A well-written site detailing how he came to cycling, and what he learned along the way.

Crazy Guy on a Bike

Bicycle touring journals from all over the world, including a couple of my own.

Johns Cycles

This is my LBS on the Gold Coast. While they cater more to the racing market, their service, advice and workmanship is the best on the coast.

St Kilda Cycles

Importers of all manner of things hard to find in Australia, including the legendary Schmidt hub dynamo & E6 lights.


Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
The "other" Lance!

Ms Mittens
The Wired Cat on-line

Iron Gambit

Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
A blog chronicling the writing and cycling of a seaside baby boomer.

Up in Alaska
Jill's subarctic journal about ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun.

The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Riding and running with a vengeance.

London Cycling Diary
Pedalling across the capital since August 2005.

CouchPilot-2-BikePilot (Zin's cycling blog)
Living an adventurous life with Type-2-Diabetes.

The adventures of Crazy Biker Chick
... Including cycling, adventuring, cooking, knitting and ranting.

Redneck Espanol
The two wheeled Spanish redneck.

Treadly and me
"Work is something I do between riding my bicycle".

Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
A bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all.

Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Various cycling tidbits.

Industry Outsider
A blog about bikes and stuff.

Tweed Coast Treadly
An old man's bicycle riding diary.

A cyclist's life in Tenerife
(Canary Islands).

Bike to work to live to bike
It's never too late to get back on the bike

Stupid Hurts
Just the random scribblings of a guy with a bicycle

I'm not drunk enough for this
Really, I'm not.

What can I say? Just read it.

Mozam's cycling adventures
A random collection of the things I like to do most, and mostly that is to ride my bikes, bicycles that is... My musings from competitive riding, long distance endurance to puttering around the neighborhood..

More cycling blogs

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big Burleigh

As of tomorrow, it's five weeks since "The crash", and no, I still can't ride. I have, however, set September 10 as the date for a tentative return. In the meantime, I have been doing quite a bit of walking to try to keep fit (as I simply haven't been able to do anything else). Last Sunday was such a nice day that I decided to set out on an epic walk. I have no idea how many kilometres it was, but I'm guessing it was around 10-12 or so. Basically I headed across to Miami Beach, and then walked south, with the plan of crossing North Burleigh (or Little Burleigh), then walking the loop around Burleigh National Park, and coming home.

The plan also included a detour to Mike's Bikes to see if they had anything that might fit the bill for a replacement bike (they sort of did, but that's another story). Little Burleigh was quite interesting in it's own way, although the development around it was a little too close. There were a few interesting little flowers blooming in the spring sunshine. I crossed the hill and spent some time wandering around the markets, but more than anything else I was just enjoying the feeling of being outside again, after being stuck inside for weeks on end. Today I was appreciating a lot of the little things, like the bird calls in the trees and the scent of the ocean spray. Maybe a near-death experience changes one's perspective after all.

Further along I entered the pocket-handkerchief sized Burleigh National Park. Well, Ok, that description is a slight exaggeration but you get the idea. Still, there seemed to be a bit of wildlife around today, probably enjoying the conditions as much as I was. The amazing thing about this park (especially the rainforest section on the top track) is that it feels a lot further from suburbia than it actually is. Just how it manages that I have no idea, but today I was grateful for it.

Eventually it was time to go and start the walk home. I had intended to take the old track up the back end of Magic Mountain at Miami, but that's apparently been closed off for years. The practical upshot of this is that I ended up walking past the site of "the crash", which was a surprisingly nerve-wracking experience, even though I have no memory of it. One day I'll have to ride through it and I'm not looking forward to that particular task. I also concluded that my desire to buy a touring bike this time around will almost certainly take me to Brisbane, as there doesn't seem to be much fitting that description here on the Coast. For all that, I still managed a great day. Hopefully normal service can be resumed in the near future.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One year ago today...

Rather than log on and crap on about my injuries or the bastard who ran me down (see two posts ago), I have decided to use this time to write about some happier memories. 12 months ago I was touring through Japan, an absolutely beautiful country that everyone should visit at least once -- I'm already looking forward to a return visit at some point in the future. To be more specific, on August 23, 2010, I was riding through Central Hokkaido, and about to pass through one of the most colourful landscapes in the world.

Hokkaido had already demonstrated some spectacular scenery on the early part of the tour, as demonstrated by this unexpected waterfall near my impromptu campsite from the previous evening. Today I was going to pass through the towns of Furano and Biei, where I would probably find a place to break the journey before continuing on tomorrow to Daisetsuzan National Park. After shopping in Furano and lunch at a rather odd little cafe in the middle of nowhere, I found some amazing, brightly coloured lavender fields.

What was perhaps more amazing about these is that just a few months earlier the whole area would have been totally blanketed by snow. The time that must go into maintaining these is incredible -- given that they blanket entire hillsides, and yet seem to be arranged in a relatively orderly fashion. I did see some incredible gardens in surprising locations in Japan -- a median strip on a highway near Takayama was quite incredible, but I think these were probably the prettiest of them.

Later in the day it started raining quite heavily, and I ended up sheltering in a backpacker hostel in the hills behind Biei. This would turn out to be a smart idea, considering that the rain that night would cause a landslide that ultimately stopped me from reaching Daisetsuzan National Park. Instead I spent an evening chatting to travellers from other countries and sampling some of the local delicacies. This is the sort of thing I will get back to doing.

Anybody who wants to read the full story of the Japan tour should go to and it's definitely worth a read.

* For those who do want an injury update, the broken ribs seem to have healed because they don't seem to be giving me any more pain. The broken collarbone is on it's way, as I seem to have got back quite a bit of the movement in my right shoulder. There is still some stiffness and it lacks strength, so I won't be riding for a while yet. My brain seems to have survived the 12 hour concussion -- much to the chagrin of my co-workers who had to endure some really bad jokes that originated there today.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mt Cougal epic fail

I was intending to write a post about this, but somehow I got preoccupied over the last couple of weeks with a small matter of three broken bones and a 12 hour concussion. A few weeks ago (five days before the crash actually) a friend and I decided to attempt a climb of Mt Cougal. Getting to the start was easy enough, a simple ride up Tomewin to the end of Garden of Eden Road (plenty of pictures from this section in the archives), but the rough walking track to the summit of Mt Cougal would be a different matter.

The twin peaks of Mt Cougal

Mt Warning in the distance

It started with a steep climb through some dense forest with nothing to grab hold of except a barbed-wire fence -- then we were walking through giant cane grass. Eventually, however, the views opened up toward Mt Warning and the Tweed Valley, and Mt Cougal. This was a particularly pleasant and easy stretch. Here the fence proved a beacon, leading us along the ridge. Stray too far from it and the long grass could obscure a long, fast descent.


The track returned to the forest for another steep climb, but this one was a little wider than the earlier one, and thus quite a bit easier to navigate. The cool, dry conditions meant there were no leeches to feed. Personally, I quite enjoy these sections, where the rainforest canopy above makes the whole area feel like a giant cathedral. We also had fun trying to guess the location of the side track that apparently leads to Boyds Butte -- another peak on the range, but one considerbly less dramatic than the cougals.

Mt Cougal and surrounds

We eventually made our way to the top of this section, and the end of the fence. All that was left was the final rocky scramble to the summit of Mt Cougal. The only problem was the information we had gathered on this section didn't really tell us very much. There is, by all accounts, a section of the final rock scramble that is quite passable, but somehow we missed it. We spent probably two hours wandering around the base of the rock, but we simply didn't find what we were looking for. With the short days, we eventually decided to call it a day here and walk home, with the intention of being off the track before dark.

Mt Tallebudgera and surrounds

Tomewin in the distance

The walk back was pleasant, and a lot quicker than the walk out, given that most of it was downhill. Frustration at missing the peak soon gave way to simply enjoying the surrounds. The only minor moment of embarrassment came when we bumped into a Canadian guy who had done the walk, and told us that there was an easy way up the final rock scramble, but we had somehow missed it! We did vow to one day return and finish the hike, although personally I think the views we did see at the end of the fence were just as good as we would have got at the Cougal summit.

Unfortunately, my crash and the resulting injuries have put paid to the plans in the foreseeable future, but the dry season here runs until October. There may be a chance to crest this summit once more in the future.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Run down

It's now two weeks since, so it's been long enough. Next month I had been planning to take off in September for ride through France and Spain, taking in the Atlantic Coast, the Pyrenees and Barcelona. I won't be doing this now, as just over a week ago a red-light runner ran me down (or so I was told, I don't actually have any memory of the incidnet). I spent 12 hours unconscious and five days in hospital, eventually emerging with two broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

Normally I'm the sort of guy to try to race the clock and get fit in time to do the tour anyway, but this time I'm thinking it's better not to try to push myself this time. Hopefully I can get myself back on the bike eventually and think about a couple of weeks in somewhere like New Zealand or Tasmania in November/December, but even that's a long way off right now. I am slowly recovering and seem to be regaining some movement each day, but damn this sucks!

I suppose I could use the time constructively and try to catch up on some posts I need to catch up on here. Whether that actually happens or not is another matter. Maybe I'll blog about my recovery, or maybe I'll write nothing at all. If there is one impression I've had so far it's just how much I appreciated the life I had until two weeks ago. The relative lack of mobility and, at times, independence, means that once I recover, I will never take all this for granted again.